Twitter Working on End-to-end Encrypted Message Feature

Oscar Cross
May 10, 2018

It also suggests that Twitter may shortly compete directly with services like Facebook-possessed WhatsApp, which allows one off and set conversations with end to end encryption.

Bringing encryption to DMs would make it easier to securely contact people without having to share contact details like your phone number; since Twitter doesn't encode its messages this way, you're presently better off using services like Signal.

The discovery was made by Jane Manchun Wong, who found a "Secret conversation" option buried inside Twitter's Android app. Now that more and more people are using Twitter's direct messaging feature, it's important we have it there, too. This isn't the first time that Twitter has been approached about creating such a feature.

18 months later, Twitter's thinking has moved on and they are testing encrypted messages.

It remains uncertain when Twitter plans on launching this new feature to its Android and iOS apps.

A tab labeled "Start a secret text message" is followed by a series of filler text after it that says "Education on what an encrypted conversation is". However, when it comes to the governments and even some of the tech companies, releasing an end-to-end encrypted message is not favoured. Because unlike any other social media platforms, Twitter has more enterprise level users and high officials as users.

So far, the "Secret Conversation" tool appears to still be in the early stages of development.

Apart from the encrypted messaging, Wong had also spotted another security feature called FIDO U2F (Universal 2 Factor) security key as a login verification measure.

In December 2016, the whistleblower Edward Snowden asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey about the encrypted messaging feature.

One of the recent examples is the ban on Telegram in Russian Federation and also the departure of WhatsApp founder Jan Koum from Facebook over encryption in the app. Dorsey replied with "reasonable and something we'll think about".

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